Latest success stories from Renaissance Learning

A Decade’s Worth of Reading Celebration at Longroyde Primary School

Longroyde Primary School, Calderdale, England

Longroyde Primary School have been using Accelerated Reader and Star Reading since 2012. In March 2022, we discovered that the school had carried out the most Accelerated Reader quizzes in the local authority of Calderdale, with over 17,575 quizzes completed over the last eighteen months.

We spoke to the school’s Reading Manager, Dawn, who is in charge of administering Accelerated Reader effectively throughout the school.

Dawn explains:

A New reading Strategy

“Before Accelerated Reader, I had no way of monitoring what books each pupil was reading to see if the book was appropriate for them and adequately understanding each text.”

We initially visited a local secondary school that happened to be using Accelerated Reader (AR) to support their Key-Stage 3 student’s reading development strategies.

After seeing AR in action, our interest snowballed from there. We consequently decided to introduce AR to our school to support reading engagement and monitor reading progress.

Now, our pupils are familiar and comfortable with the AR routine. They utilise their free time at break times and lunchtimes to visit the library, choose a book that’s appropriate for their level of reading, thanks to the AR book labels, and know where to go to conduct their book quiz.

Now, the pupils at Longroyde Primary School absolutely adore reading. So whenever I walk down the school corridors, I always hear pupils talking about reading and their latest book quiz score. You can see the enthusiasm in pupils because some of them are pretty competitive!

Pupils really embrace the motivational aspects of the AR programme; they want to read books properly, so they get better quiz scores to receive another AR certificate!

Before Accelerated Reader, I had no way of monitoring what books each pupil was reading to see if the book was appropriate for them and adequately understanding each text.

Previously, we relied heavily on parents to ensure children remained engaged with reading at home. They reported to us whether their children had finished and understood each book.

Now, with AR, I can see each book’s engagement time and quality for every pupil, even when they’ve engaged with reading at home!

Now that we can accurately monitor and track pupils’ reading patterns and proficiency, we can share valuable information from AR and Star Reading reports with key stakeholders such as governors and staff.

SLT-Approved Assessments

“One of the things that our SLT loves, especially the Headteacher, is easy to read graphs from Star Reading.”

We carry out our Star Reading assessments every term, starting with the first two weeks back to school in September. This baseline assessment gives us a good indication of which pupils will need additional support from the offset and which pupils can carry out their reading development more autonomously.

One of the things that our SLT loves, especially the Headteacher, is easy to read graphs from Star Reading. I can produce them and share them with the senior leadership team to see how each pupil is progressing in greater depth and highlight pupils in need of intervention.

Now, we heavily utilise the data from the Star Reading assessments to monitor and track pupils who are dropping off from their current reading progress tangent.

The data is crucial in helping teachers plan and offer appropriate intervention initiatives to support pupils who are not meeting their targets or whose reading ages are generally significantly lower than their chronological age.

The Star Reading assessments provide an excellent foundation on which we can subsequently construct pupils learning. With the data from Star Reading assessments, we can identify which pupils need support in specific areas and domains of reading.

We can subsequently use the abundance of features and support that Accelerated Reader offers to ensure continuous formative assessment is carried out for each pupil based on their latest assessment,

For example, suppose a pupil’s latest Star Reading assessment data identifies that their vocabulary acquisition is behind. In that case, we can get them to sit vocabulary quizzes on Accelerated Reader as consequential interventional support.

Accelerated Reader is a programme that pupils become familiarised with as soon as they feel they’re ready. Pupils in year-2 participate in the Accelerated Reader programme once their reading proficiency is prepared.

Starting the AR programme early on ensures a consistent strategy for their reading development throughout their academic career at the school.

A Reassuring Routine

AR has also made reading at home more accessible than ever before. We have more transparency with parents when they ask how their child’s reading development is progressing; I can share a specific Parent Report with them from Star Reading.

Each pupil is familiar with the process and therefore is comfortable with the routine n of choosing texts appropriate for them and quizzing on them to demonstrate understanding through which they can celebrate their progress.

One of the unique and most exciting successes that I’ve witnessed from the AR programme is that some reluctant readers have become engaged and excited about reading thanks to AR’s incentive and motivational format.

We have a reading celebration assembly every Friday, so on Thursday, I prepare the certificates and prizes for pupils who have met or exceeded their reading targets for the week. I also choose a reader of the week and different reading stars who also receive an additional certificate for their extra hard work.

Following the celebration assembly, all the winners can choose an additional prize out of the prize box, including different chocolates and treats for extra motivation! Pupils love the incentives, and they love the surprise of picking something new from the prize box!

AR has also made reading at home more accessible than ever before. We have more transparency with parents when they ask how their child’s reading development is progressing; I can share a specific Parent Report with them from Star Reading.

We encourage them to conduct their AR quizzes at home if they can; however, I prefer them to be undertaken in school where pupils have a more calm and focussed environment to answer the questions correctly.

But, with AR, we’ve seen increased reading engagement between parents and their children, which impacts the quality of pupils’ understanding and demonstration in their classwork.

The content of our library is now the wow factor for the school, thanks to Accelerated  Reader. The whole process of reading and accessing digital devices to quiz on their latest book is so appealing to pupils. Accelerated Reader really sells itself and appeals to new prospective pupils and families.

To find out how your school can utilise Accelerated Reader and Star Reading to support your school’s reading development strategy, click here.

If you would like to speak to Dawn about any of the content from the success story she has given us permission to forward your contact details to her to have a chat. Please email answers@renlearn.co.uk and let us know you’d like to chat with Dawn!


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